If your Little Leaguer can't stand being away from the field during the fall months, you're in luck. As of July 17, registration is now open for Orange Little League's 2012 Fall Baseball League, and kids from Orange, Stratford, Milford, Woodbridge, Annex and other communities are encouraged to sign up.
As you may know if your son has participated in past years, "fall ball" isn't for winning or losing -- OLL hardball Vice President Powell Chodos says it's a chance for players to learn, grow and experiment with playing new positions and perfecting their hitting and pitching.
"It's a developmental season," Chodos says. "It gives the kids a taste of what they're going to face when they take the field in the spring."
Kids who will be between seven and 12 in the next season can participate. The youngest kids won't face a pitcher -- the league provides batting machines. But players in the 8-9 age brackets will get their first experience facing down a real, live pitcher more or less their own age.
And players with more experience will start to see the kind of pitching that really makes a difference in competitive settings.
"It's great for kids who didn't get to pitch as much as you'd like," Chodos says. "Say you didn't get to play shortstop or catcher, this gives you another go-around to see how you make out at that position. and see if that's really the spot for you. I've seen kids who have never played a position before improve over the fall and come back a different player."
Chodos says Orange typically fields three teams, and he expects about the same attendance this year. Registration is non-competitive, so everyone is welcome in the Fall Ball, regardless of previous experience. Interested parents can sign up at by filling out this registration form.